Work is often seen as an obligation. A necessary evil. A place that a lot of people don’t like attending. A concept that will trigger an automatic, negative response in most people.
Is that how we truly feel? Who is making work that way for so many people? Is it one person within an organisation? Is it the industries in which we work? Or is it a systemic issue; an inherent issue with the -isms at work in our society?
Leaving negative experiences behind
A move towards a better world of work means leaving these negative experiences behind. Unfortunately, that won’t happen just by moving into a new, niftily-designed workspace. Nor will it happen by bringing brand new technology into the workspace. And it certainly won’t happen by changing some policies and procedures and calling it a day. A better world of work means making a conscious move to a more dynamic, human-centric way of working.
Responsibility of the individual
It would be a world where the responsibility of each individual is in the hands of that individual and the workspace, technology and organisational structure and aspirations all provide a space for that responsibility to thrive. The most transformational and sustainable outcomes that we have been involved in occur when individuals are treated as people with complex lives, beliefs and motivations, rather than a series of patterns or behaviours.
And while the individual’s freedom to work how and when best suits them is important, much consideration needs to be afforded to the role that the organisation has in setting boundaries and displaying trust within the individual-organisation relationship. Without these foundational characteristics, the individual’s motivations and capabilities are muted and the organisation’s performance will, likewise, suffer. The potential of the individual and the organisation are intrinsically tied together; organisations are comprised entirely of individuals. A better world of work is one where interpersonal and individual-organisation relationships are consciously developed, and objectives are achieved for the benefit of all.
My belief is that nothing transformational can occur if you always set the bar according to the lowest possible denominator. The bar should be set as high as it’s possible to set it. Or, even better, throw the bar away and just try to jump as high as you possibly can.
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A better world of work. Allison Tsao